closed as not constructive by David Ogren, o0'., dchapes, Nick ODell, D.H. - bitcoin.se May 27 '13 at 15:51
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Time will tell.
There are two main accusations against Ripple:
it claims to be open and decentralised, but currently it isn't, since the server is closed source and controlled exclusively by Ripple owners (OpenCoin)
it came with a lot of preminted coins, some of which are supposed to be distributed freely, while others are to be kept by Ripple developers and owners (as a payment for the effort)
You may like or not point 2, but that is definitely not a scammy fact, since it's not a secret: as long as they actually do distribute those coins, that is fine.
Point 1 is more crucial: it is widely considered bad to promote something as open when it isn't. Same goes with promoting something as decentralised when it isn't either. Claiming "it will be" quite obviously isn't enough. Once they will eventually release the server sources, their credibility will likely be restored and those accusations should likely stop.
Here's the short answer: no, Ripple is not a scam.
However, there are lots of Bitcoin enthusiasts that believe that Ripple is a competitor to Bitcoin.
Many of the claims in forums and on websites are false.
For example, ripplescam.org says:
Ripple is not open source. No server source code has being released, with the paid developers behind Ripple admitting that it is to prevent others from using building something better than Ripple in true open source fashion.
The source code for the client has already been released; the server code is expected soon.
Every single Ripple nodes is controlled by a private for profit company. It is centralized, like a bank or PayPal. Not a decentralized currency.
Also not true. Anyone can run a Ripple gateway.
I could go on, but you get the picture.
Here's the deal: some Bitcoin people see Ripple as a competitor. Actually, Ripple is complimentary to Bitcoin. Since Ripple is an open payment network, you can use any currency you want, including Bitcoin. In fact, I expect that, if Ripple takes off, Ripple will be the easiest way to exchange Bitcoin for dollars, euros, etc.
No Ripple is not a scam. It's a product, [BASED UPON] open sourced project and an attempt to resolve some cryptocurrency to fiat concerns we have in the existing exchange model. I like to think of Ripple as a meta-currency designed to enhance existing currencies.
There appears to be a campaign on bitcointalk to discredit ripple including some forum members claiming they offered money to claim ripple is a scam. Also ripple has a close relationship with Google, which makes some people uncomfortable. However, nothing about the service or the people working on the service indicate a scam.
Also not true. Anyone can run a Ripple gateway.
A couple problems here.
- The wrong page was linked, I'm pretty sure the intended page has something to do with setting up gateways
- As it says there, setting up a gateway requires setting up a server (rippled), for which there is no code available, and as it says here, no binaries either. So the only way to set up a gateway at this point in time is to get a copy of the server from OpenCoin via some non-public channel.
In short, until a server is made publicly available in binary or source form, they have made no move beyond talk that indicates a desire to make ripple decentralized.
Does that make them a scam, no. Does that decrease their credibility, yes.
It depends how you define "scam". IMO, it is not more of a scam than the fractional reserve system, used in the economy worldwide for like a century already.
They take your bitcoins and multiply them using a fractional reserve system, holding the actual coins, and giving you IOUs instead. It is an old idea and different kind of bank-like institutions have been doing it, even with gold, since basically forever.
This allows for an existence of more money then there originally was - which might be a good thing, or might be a bad thing, depending on how good an inflation is to you... But either way, it surely cannot end well.
It's very simple: If you were not given any of 10 billions XRP - for you it's scam. If you were given free ripples - you are evangelist of the scam.
To activate your wallet you need to pay - you have to buy ripples, even if you don't need them. All ripples are owned by opencoin. Pure scam. To tell you more - here's my story: I invested one bitcoin to check how it works. I sold this bitcon on bitstamp for 130$. Then I use option to withdraw $$ to my ripple wallet (I had to fund my wallet to activate it). But my $$ were converted to 5500 ripples. I wanted to buy BTC back. But for my ripples I was able to buy only 0,65 bitcoin. I had to leave some ripples so my wallet is active. By the end of the day I lost 45$.